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Research and Development Organization

Addressing a Broad Range of Customer Needs

Shimizu’s Institute of Technology consists of six centers (and their attendant administrative sections) that engage directly in different kinds of research and development (R&D). These centers are further grouped into three types based on the R&D themes they pursue: basic technologies related to construction and the environment, technologies to solve issues in areas related to safety and security, energy, and social infrastructure, and forward-looking research and technological developments.

Center for Construction Engineering

Contributing to safe, comfortable, efficient buildings and civil engineering

Highly-nonlinear 3D Program for Earthquake Response of soil-structure system (HiPER)

The Center for Construction Engineering helps realize safe, comfortable, and efficient facilities by conducting technological R&D across a wide range of fields, including materials, structural frames, soils and foundations, HVAC and illuminating systems, and fire safety, all of which are fundamental to construction and civil engineering.

As for the materials, the Center pursues R&D on durable high-performance concrete that reduces cracking and improves aesthetic factors. The Center is developing new cost-effective structural frames that deliver significant quality improvements; for example, timber structures and hybrid structures combining reinforced concrete and steel frames. In the area of soils and foundations, the Center is developing ideal foundational structures for sites featuring complex terrain and also pursuing R&D on technologies to counter ground deformation and liquefaction in the event of earthquakes.

In the field of HVAC and illuminating systems, current R&D work is focused on equipment and control technologies intended to establish comfortable, energy-saving environments, primarily for use in offices, hospitals, and clean rooms. R&D in the field of fire safety is focused on technologies to maintain the fireproof and fire-resistant functions of structures, and to allow users to evacuate safely in the event of fire in buildings, tunnels, or other facilities. The Center is also developing technologies that enable buildings to be renovated based on a holistic perspective that accounts for structures, materials, and HVAC and illuminating systems, thus allowing for the effective use of existing facilities while maintaining and improving their functions.

Center for Environmental Engineering

Helping to create environments conducive to sustainable societies and comfortable living

Wind environmental analysis of an urban area

The Center for Environmental Engineering pursues R&D on environmental technologies in the areas of wind and heat, acoustics, nature, and healthcare, all of which directly touch our lives.

In the area of wind and heat environmental technologies, the Center conducts wind environmental and wind load testing that combines wind tunnel testing with fluid analysis. In doing so, the Center supports improvements in the wind environment of single buildings up to entire cities. Research based on thermal evaluations is also helping to mitigate heat island effects in urban environments. Work by the Center on acoustic environments draws on acoustic testing, and advanced analytical and simulation technologies based on wave theory, as well as special facilities that include an anechoic room, reverberation room, and sound-insulation/floor-impact testing room. Objectives include addressing noise issues both inside and outside buildings; creating comfortable acoustic environments at residential properties, offices, and other facilities; and achieving optimal acoustic designs for studios and concert halls. Regarding the natural environment, the Center is developing technologies related to the biosciences, greening, ecosystem assessment, water treatment and soil remediation, as well as environmental simulations. Ideally, an optimal mix of these technologies can be used to help revive and improve the natural environment. With respect to healthcare, the Center applies chemical analysis, clean room technologies, and advanced simulation technologies (CFD) to support advanced medical facilities, pharmaceutical plants, and regenerative medicine facilities, an area expected to see significant growth in the future.

Center for Safety and Reliability Engineering

Protecting life and business from earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, and other disasters

Ground motion simulation

The Center for Safety and Reliability Engineering pursues R&D efforts that deliver safety and security to society, including technologies that forecast, evaluate and minimize risks in the event of earthquakes, tsunamis, and other natural disasters. Work by the Center addresses serious contemporary concerns for severe future earthquakes and the growing risk of other natural disasters attributable to global warming. To protect lives and businesses against natural disasters, the Center pursues R&D on technologies that forecast and diagnose damage before a disaster strikes, disaster mitigation technologies, and technologies that facilitate response after a disaster occurs. Some of the current work on risk analysis and evaluation technologies includes seismic ground motion simulation, seismic risk assessments, tsunami simulations. Current work on disaster mitigation technologies includes the development of various seismic isolation and vibration control systems, earthquake resistant ceilings, and tsunami evacuation facilities. Current work on technologies that facilitate response after disaster targets the effective utilization of earthquake early warnings and structural monitoring and so on. State-of-the-art analytical technologies, testing technologies, and measurement technologies support R&D efforts in all these areas.

Center for Energy Engineering

Addressing energy technology issues to strengthen the foundations for urban life and commerce while targeting a sustainable, low-carbon society

Urban development through ecoBCP

Focusing on issues ranging from energy conservation in buildings and districts on the demand side to the adoption of renewable energy and nuclear power on the supply side, the Center for Energy Engineering develops, tests, and deploys technologies intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Effective energy management and conservation in buildings and districts must account for how buildings are actually used and how workers spend their time in buildings. The Center is currently moving forward with advanced Smart BEMS technologies, which enable optimized control of various devices inside buildings, including distributed power supplies. The Center is also seeking to achieve practical implementation of cloud-based facility management tools to manage multiple buildings. Important future topics will include the proactive adoption of renewable energy sources such as solar power, wind power, and waste heat, as well as technologies to produce hydrogen from renewable energy sources.

The Strategic Energy Plan approved by the Japanese Cabinet in April 2014 identifies nuclear power as a quasi-domestic low-carbon energy source. In response, as a starting point for restoring confidence in nuclear power, the Center is moving forward with R&D on waste decontamination, volume reductions, and intermediate storage to support recovery and revitalization in Fukushima. The Center is also focusing on the handling of waste generated by decommissioned nuclear power plants and assessments of the stability of the underground shafts essential to radioactive waste disposal. Based on the construction industry’s leading expertise on radiation analysis accumulated through these activities, the Center will provide support to medical facilities and high-energy accelerator facilities.

Center for Social System Engineering

Developing next-generation social infrastructures and exploring the value of existing social infrastructures and buildings

Amarube Viaduct

The Center for Social System Engineering pursues R&D in both hardware and software to help developing various social infrastructure, including bridges, tunnels, dams, and energy storage facilities. It also analyzes the value and current state of social infrastructure and buildings and ways to maintain, preserve, and revitalize them.

In Japan, a nation ever-threatened by earthquakes, typhoons, and other natural disasters, social infrastructures have to withstand those natural disasters. At the same time, in developing social infrastructure must minimize impact on the surrounding environment. To address these demands of society, the R&D undertaken by the Center focuses on advanced simulation and evaluation technique related to the planning, design, and building of structures.

Another issue being addressed involves aging roads, bridges, and other social infrastructure elements. Amidst the current social transformation, the Center is pursuing R&D on maintenance and management of aging infrastructure as well as on monitoring, assessment, and renovation technologies. The Center considers buildings, communities, and cities within their historical, cultural, and human frameworks, seeking to develop optimal methods to analyze the value of buildings, communities, and cities, and further to analyze human behavior and awareness in these contexts.

Center for Future Technology and Design

Drawing on advanced technologies to deliver imaginative, future-oriented solutions

Pedestrian navigation using the Indoor Messaging System (IMES), an indoor version of a GPS system

Seeking to create inspirational spaces and environments, the Center for Future Technology and Design pursues R&D to create new value in the field of construction based on state-of-the-art technologies in information and communication (ICT), artificial intelligence, and robotics.

In the emerging era of the Internet of things (IoT), in which data on building management systems, equipment, and residents are linked in diverse ways, the Center seeks to advance the use of data in real spaces. By visualizing and analyzing this data to make spaces smarter and deliver greater value, we hope to create enriched, convenient, and comfortable living environments as well as efficient, energy-saving commercial environments.

To create such spaces, the Center pursues R&D on the design of spaces that accounts for aesthetic factors, safety, and energy saving as well as human factors including behavior, emotion, and psychology. The work done by the Center in construction and production seeks to adopt robotics and other information technologies to improve convenience and efficiency, optimize productivity, ensure quality, and advance construction management. Related research includes investigations extending as far as the development of outer space.

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